David Milgaard Case Study

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Throughout the whole investigation of the Gail Miller rape and murder case there were many wrongs committed leading up to the false conviction of David Milgaard. The authorities were pressured by the public and other groups to convict someone of this heinous crime and in doing so this action of theirs put an innocent man behind bars for twenty-three years.

Right from the start of the investigation there were faults and incorrect procedures perpetrated by the police. The events that took place leading up to the conviction of Mr. Milgaard demonstrate just how sloppy the investigation took a turn when the police became lax in their investigational procedures. The police at the time interviewed a total of 160 possible suspects without finding
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As stated by Helena Katz in Justice Miscarried: Inside Wrongful Convictions in Canada, “Crown witness Sergeant Bruce Paynter testified that the frozen semen found at the crime scene was from someone who had type A blood and secreted antigens into bodily fluids such as semen and saliva” (26). Furthermore, to add to Mr. Milgaards case Helena Katz states, “Milgaard had type A blood but no antigens were found in his saliva, this suggested he was not a secretor and the semen police tested was not his” (26). With that being said DNA evidence would of proved Mr. Milgaard’s innocence, but due to the lack of technological advances at the time the semen found at the scene could not be tested until much later, well into the 1990’s. With the statements provided by Mr. Milgaard’s friends, whose stories changed by every passing minute. Ron Wilson stated to the Saskatoon police, “Milgaard was never away from the car for more than a minute or two, testified that he left the car for fifteen minutes” (Katz, 26). With this being said and the ability not to test the semen samples, along with the statements made by Mr. Milgaard’s friends. This created doubt in the Jurys minds which ultimately led to the false conviction of David…show more content…
Other suggestions to the police in their investigation would be not to adhere to “tunnel vision” during their investigation of the murder of Gail Miller. As stated by the Canadian department of justice tunnel vision is defined as, defined as “the single minded and overly narrow focus on an investigation or prosecutorial theory so as to unreasonably color the evaluation of information received and one’s conduct in response to the information.” The Saskatoon police were focused on getting a conviction on somebody and David Milgaard happened to be there patsy, thus the investigations main focus was that Milgaard was the one who committed this murder from the start. The Investigation was flawed from the start partly due to technological limitations and poor police work, although it took twenty-three years for justice to prevail. In the end the man who actually committed the murder was put behind bars and the wrongfully convicted Milgaard was set
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